Children experience new vegetables with Healthy Childhood Project

March 21, 2022

March is National Nutrition Month! Did you know we have a team of nutrition educators here at the Food Bank of Delaware? The team educates community members about healthy eating on a limited budget! 

A is for asparagus! That tasty green stalk associated with spring was the topic for a small class of 4-year-olds at the Beginnings and Beyond Day Care Center in Dover.

“Do you know what this is,” asked Alicia, one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s SNAP Educators, as she handed each child a sturdy stalk. “No, it’s not celery,” she answered.

“Have you ever eaten asparagus?” she asked, as the morning’s lesson would focus on asparagus. Although the children weren’t eager to sample this vegetable, they responded to her questions and presentation: she explained that asparagus was typically not eaten raw, but could be grilled or roasted.

As the kids answered her questions about texture, some broke their stalks. Others were more interested in how asparagus grows. Some were surprised that asparagus could also be purple or white, as well as the more typical green.

Students listened attentively as Alicia presented a story book illustrating vegetables. Although they expressed a strong distaste for onions, most responded enthusiastically about lettuce. The story also presented an opportunity for Alicia to tell these students that she’d be returning with a different vegetable in a couple of weeks.

The craft portion of the lesson, complete with construction paper, scissors, and glue sticks, were all these kids needed to create a paper version of asparagus. Depending on the class and time available, some lessons may also include a simple physical activity, but not today.

After a quick clean-up, each student and their teacher received a recipe to take-home: asparagus tacos.

A healthy diet – one that includes fresh fruits and vegetables – creates a foundation for a healthy childhood and a healthy life. That’s one reason SNAP educators from the Food Bank of Delaware developed the Healthy Childhood Project – or HCP – targeting children ages 3-5 from SNAP-eligible families. SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was formerly known as food stamps.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our educators were unable to visit classrooms to present hands-on, interactive lessons so they would deliver instructional materials, then maintain follow-up connections with the teachers. The FBD Nutrition Educators can also offer family engagement activities including additional take home materials, pre-recorded videos and virtual classes and demonstrations.

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